Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to John H. Cocke, 9 April 1820

To John H. Cocke

Monticello Apr. 9. 20.

Dear Sir

Dr Cooper had written a letter to me in which a private subject rendered it incommunicable to the board; but in that letter he mentioned Dr Rice’s attack on him, expressed his concern lest a personal opposition to him might not only prove uneasy to himself but make him a burthen to his friends: and that if I thought so, he should be willing to resign. I answered him on the opinion that the opposition was of little weight. that opinion has been changed by what passed at our board, and I am in duty bound to correct it in a letter to him. in this I have1 availed myself of the opening his letter gave me, to introduce the subject so as to draw some proposition or observations from him, which may give us a favorable ground to begin our formal correspondence with him. yet, altho’ I think it better to postpone any formal proposition to him until he answers my letter, I have thought it my duty to communicate it to you, and if you are of a different sentiment to return it to me, and I will prepare a joint letter. if, after reading you approve it, then be so good as to stick a wafer in it, & forward it by mail viâ Richmond. I salute you with great friendship and respect.

Th: Jefferson

RC (ViU: TJP); addressed: “Genl John H. Cocke Bremo recommended to the care of W. M. Cary esq. [i.e., Miles Cary] near Wilmington Fluvanna”; franked; endorsed by Cocke, with his possibly unrelated calculations in pencil on address cover. PoC (DLC); on verso of reused address cover of Fernagus De Gelone to TJ, 16 Feb. 1820; some text lost at right margin due to polygraph misalignment; endorsed by TJ. Enclosure: TJ to Thomas Cooper, 8 Apr. 1820.

1Duplicate phrase “I have” is canceled in RC but not in PoC.

Index Entries

  • clergy; influence of in colleges search
  • Cocke, John Hartwell (1780–1866); and T. Cooper search
  • Cocke, John Hartwell (1780–1866); as member of University of Virginia Board of Visitors search
  • Cocke, John Hartwell (1780–1866); letters to search
  • Cooper, Thomas; religious beliefs of criticized search
  • Cooper, Thomas; University of Virginia professorship proposed for search
  • religion; and University of Virginia search
  • Rice, John Holt; and T. Cooper’s proposed University of Virginia professorship search
  • Virginia, University of; Board of Visitors; and faculty recruitment search
  • Virginia, University of; Board of Visitors; meetings of search
  • Virginia, University of; Faculty and Curriculum; T. Cooper as proposed professor search